Now here's something you don't hear of everyday -- artists receiving an actual increase in royalty revenues. The Copyright Royalty Board announced it will be increasing royalties paid to musicians and labels for material played by internet broadcasters via online radio stations. Currently, the royalty for a song play is 0.08 of a cent per play (yep, we're talking about heaps of money earned). The increase could potentially see this rate double in less than three years.
Perhaps this is good news for the artists, but this could be an outlandish tax to impose on internet radio stations, particularly those whose revenue is not based on advertising, such as various NPR stations or independents such as SomaFM or Radio Paradise. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, KCRW GM Ruth Seymour claimed that this could end up putting their station in a position where they would owe more than $350,000 for this year and last year's royalties.
Now, couldn't we just make everything fair for everybody and take all of the moneys raised by the various RIAA lawsuits and aid the stations to play the music, the artists to cut the records, and maybe even give some money to children who will die in Africa from preventable diseases? Wait, nevermind; I must have been drinking. I need a new BMW; let's just leave it the way it is and let those pesky little internet radio stations die, let the artists stay nice and skinny because they don't have money to buy food, and go out on the town for a nice evening of dinner and dancing.